Supreme Court grants cert in two Texas capital cases
Posted on: 6/6/2016 01:59:22 PM by Peoples

On June 6, 2016, the Supreme Court granted the certiorari petition of Texas death row inmate Bobby Moore, limited to the first question in the petition:  (1)  Whether it violates the Eighth Amendment and this Court's decisions in Hall v. Florida, 134 S.Ct. 1986 (2014) and Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) to prohibit the use of current medical standards on intellectual disability, and require the use of outdated medical standards, in determining whether an individual may be executed. 

Also on June 6th, the Supreme Court granted the certiorari  petition of Texas death row inmate Duane Buck.  His petition raised the following question:  Duane Buck's death penalty case raises a pressing issue of national importance: whether and to what extent the criminal justice system tolerates racial bias and discrimination.  Specifically, did the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit impose an improper and unduly burdensome Certificate of Appealability (COA) standard that contravenes this Court's precedent and deepens two circuit splits when it denied Mr. Buck a COA on his motion to reopen the judgment and obtain merits review of his claim that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for knowingly presenting an "expert" who testified that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because his is Black, where future dangerousness was both a prerequisite for a death sentence and the central issue at sentencing?